Shortage of testing kits adds to woes 
No let-up in dengue cases 
P.K. Jaiswar/TNS

Amritsar, October 21
Four more cases of suspected dengue were reported at government-run Guru Nanak Dev Hospital (GNDH) here today.Although the health department had made many tall claims that the number of dengue patients were 50 only, but according to rough estimate more than 200 persons have been afflicted with the disease in and around the city and have been admitted to various private hospitals.

According to deputy medical superintendent Dr Gaurav Thukral of Fortis hospital, they have already admitted 150 dengue patients, out of which 72 patients have been tested positive.

About 78 patients have been admitted to Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, out of which 50 have been successfully treated and sent home, while 27 patients continue to be under treatment in the hospital. On Friday last, seven more patients were admitted to Guru Nanak Dev Hospital while another five were under treatment in private hospitals. The government health department has been unable to provide correct figures about the patients admitted to private hospitals, itis alleged.

The new patients, suspected to be suffering from dengue and admitted to the GNDH, are Alka (25) of Krishna Nagar locality, Abhay Raj of Batala Road, Deepak Sharma of Gopal Nagar and Varinder Singh of Prahlad Nagar.

However, the government hospitals are also reportedly facing shortage of dengue testing kits. The problem enhances during large influx of patients. But, Dr R.P.S. Boparai, medical superintendent of Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, said they were in a position to treat all patients and kits were being provided to them. He said recently the hospital had ordered bulk purchase of kits and medicines for the treatment of patients.

Meanwhile, the blame game has already started between the department to health and corporation. According to sources, the health minister has blamed the civic authorities for its inability to provide hygienic environment and launch anti-larvae drive in the city. She said the corporation was supposed to be responsible for the cleanliness and majority of patients had come from urban areas. 



Workshop on World Bank knowledge resources 
Tribune news service

Amritsar, October 21
The school of economics of Guru Nanak Dev University organised a one-day workshop on the World Bank and its knowledge resources in association with the Public Information Centre, the World Bank, India office, here on Tuesday.

Dr Ragubir Singh, dean of academic affairs of the university, presided over the workshop, while Dr Hema Bala Subramanian, public relations officer of the World Bank, India office, and Sunita Malhotra, resource person from the World Bank, presented their lectures on the World Bank publication. University registrar Dr R.S. Bawa, Dr Gian Kaur, Dr Paramjit Kaur Dindsa and Dr Parminder Singh presented their views. Dr Subramanian discussed the structure of the World Bank, raising of money for development purposes, its operation, share-holder capital followed by the World Bank.

She said the main product of the World Bank was development loans and India was the main beneficiary of this. She said in India the World Bank had been sanctioning loans since 1949 and many development projects had come up with the help from the IBRD (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development­) and the IDA (International Development Agency).



‘15 pc of B’desh population is in India as illegal immigrants’ 
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 21
Illegal Bangldeshi immigrants are posing a serious security threat to the country and influencing the state polity in northeast states, which have seen a heavy influx of these migrants into the states bordering Bangladesh.

Stating this at a seminar on “Internal security challenges,” organised by the local Panchnad Study Centre, P.C. Dogra, former DGP, Punjab, gave the startling facts and said about 15 per cent of the total population of Bangladesh had already illegally migrated to India.

Giving data, he said in six districts of Assam these illegal migrants constituted 60 per cent of the population and in another six they formed 40 per cent of the population. Armed with voting rights, now these illegal migrants were influencing the polity of the state which posed a grave threat to the security of the country.

Talking about terrorism in the country, he said since 2002 seven persons had been losing their lives every 10 days due to terrorist attacks.

Blaming the ISI of Pakistan in designing, financing and perpetuating terrorist activities in India, he said the country’s own weak-kneed response to control the menace had helped its rapid growth.

He stated that unwarranted controversy over the Batla incidence would demoralise police force, which was already fighting an unequal battle with terrorists.

Commenting on the recent violent incidents in parts of Orissa, Dogra alleged that violence amongst Kandha and Panna tribes of the region had been incorrectly linked to religious conversions. 



‘Bhagat Singh’s popular image overshadows his real ideology’ 
P.K. Jaiswar
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 21
The independent thought process, philosophy and idealism of great son of soil Bhagat Singh has been buried under the shadow of his martyrdom and its impact on the freedom revolution in the country which has been popularly projected by modern historians.

However, a lot of research needs to be done to go into his real idealism and psyche to bring forth the facts of his life.

This is the outcome of a national seminar on “The ideology of Shaheed Bhagat Singh” organised at the Khalsa College for Women here in which scholars from different parts of the country participated.

Dr Parminder Singh, professor of the department of English, Guru Nanak Dev University, said there was need to understand his actual contribution towards the country, freedom and people, besides looking into the political situations prevailing at that time.

Prof Jagmohan Singh, a nephew of the great martyr, in his keynote address comprehensively covered the man, the revolutionary, the politician, the mystic, the realist, the hero and the martyr that Bhagat Singh was. He focused on Bhagat Singh’s vision of India after independence, the darker side of which had been foreseen by the martyr.

Singh demanded a collective effort of the countrymen, especially the Punjabi community, in spreading Bhagat Singh’s message of love for the country.

Kamlesh Mohan, an expert on the militant movement, presented the presidential remarks. Prof S.S. Hans was the guest of honour on the occasion.

Hans made Bhagat Singh alive in his death with his ever-ready couplets. A documentary film on his ancestral village Narli produced by Punarjot was also shown in the seminar.

Dr Manmohan Singh, an IPS officer, focused on the intellectual growth of Bhagat Singh. His sacrifice was great but ideology was all the more powerful.

Dr Chaman Lal, historian and president of the Centre of Indian Languages, Jawaharlal Nehru University, talked of the varied international and national influences and mentioned as a man, revolutionary and finally an icon above all other freedom fighters.



Lahore drummers in awe of guru land
Ashok Sethi

Amritsar, October 21
Overwhelmed by the visit to Amritsar, members of Panjtani, a famous dholi group from Lahore, said performing in the holy city - which is also the hometown of their legendary guru Ustad Mohammad Shafi - was a dream come true.

The 22-member group, which was here to participate in the Lahore-Amritsar Saanjh-2008 festival, had come to the city for the first time. The group had earlier performed in Delhi and had received tremendous accolades.

Sabar Hussain and Salamat Ali, senior members of group, while talking to The Tribune said the dholis enjoy a high status in Pakistan and are invited to perform on special occasions. “Our Ustad was from here. After Partition, he migrated to Pakistan and was instrumental in honing our skills as musicians,” they added.

The group consists of 22 drummers who were selected from various parts of Pakistan and specialize in devotional music.

They used to play in various shrines in west Punjab. Sabar Hussain said they are leaving India with loads of love and goodwill. “We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in the city. The people here have really showered their love and blessings on us,” he added. 



Yaadgari mela ends on high note
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, October 21
Rural festivals provide an excellent platform to the young artistes to showcase their talent. This was stated by minister for information and public relations Bikram Singh Majithia while presiding over the final day proceedings of Prof Mohan Singh Yaadgari Mela at Sangatpura village here on Monday.

The artistes must make efforts to make the new generation understand and appreciate the folk art of the state, he said. Paying rich tributes to Prof Mohan Singh, the minister said state government was committed to give Punjabi language its due status. He announced a grant of Rs 2.50 lakhs to the mela committee, while Rajmohinder Singh Majitha, MP, announced Rs 5 lakh. On the concluding day, leading Punjabi artistes Harbhajan Mann, Malkiat Singh, Akbar Ali and Ravinder Grewal regaled the audience. 



Akbar Ali: My life changed after Junoon...
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 21
My life has been changed after participation in “Junoon Kuch Kar Dikhane Ka”, a reality singing show aired by NDTV Imagine, where everyone appreciated my talent and singing style, said Akbar Ali.

The Lahore-based young singing sensation, Akbar Ali, who got instant fame after his appearance in the NDTV channel programme, said everybody now recognised him.

Akbar was here to participate in the fifth Amritsar-Lahore “Saanjh” festival organised by Punarjyot and the Rafi Peer Theatre Group, Lahore, at Spring Dale’s Senior Secondary School here.

Talking to The Tribune, he gave credit of his success to Almighty, his family and hard work he had put in over the years. He said he got offers from Bollywood as playback singer and was indeed delighted to be part of the Indian film world which had produced some of the most enduring singing stars. Recently, he gave “sargam” and “alaap” in “Panchtantra” which is under production. He really enjoyed being part of the series.

Akbar Ali belongs to a family of qawwals and is inspired by his grandfather and legendary Ustad Faju Khan. He was trained in the classical style of singing.

Lauding the efforts of “Saanjh”, the Indo-Pak festival had given an excellent platform to young artistes to give their best in front of large crowds. He said he would love to be part of “Saanjh” for years to come.



Jasbir Jass: He excels in children’s literature
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 21
The recipient of the Punjab Languages Department’s Shiromini Bal Sahit Award, Jasbir Singh Jass, a teacher, versatile writer and journalist, is widely known for his writings for children in a simple, interesting and encouraging style.

Having experience of over 32 years, he started writing in popular Punjabi magazines, including “Bal Sandesh”, “Biba Rana”, “Bal Derbar”, when he was less than 15 years. He has more than 10 books on child literature to his credit. Earlier, he was awarded the Rashtriya Bal Sahit Puraskar for “Mahekde Phull” in 1986 and adjudged the best writer of Bal Sahit Kav Pustak by the department in 1992 for “Tare Piyare”. He has also received an award from the NCERT, New Delhi, for his innovative ideas in teaching-learning process. He has been applauded by all for his resourceful style that he used in writing research based book “Punjabi Sabhyachar te Videshi Prabhav”. The book was published by the Punjabi Writers Cooperative Society, Ludhiana, and was the best selling book in 1983. For his outstanding efforts in the field of the Punjabi language and literature and his excellent services to the education department he was given the state award by the Punjab government on Teachers’ Day in 1993. Undoubtedly, Jass has been creative enough in recasting “Panchtatra” and various old stories rationally and logically to keep in line with modern corpus of knowledge in child psychology. His book “Bhashan Kala ate Vangian (2007)” is a reference book which prepares the students and teachers for declamation competitions and also teaches the art of effective communication. This has been acknowledged as a unique book of its kind in Punjabi and Indian regional languages.



School Buzz
A unique Divali gift for Ram Ashram school 
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 21
The students of Shri Ram Ashram Public School today presented a unique Diwali gift to their institution. The students prepared handicraft items which were put on sale at a fun fair organised by the school and money collected in it was handed over to the principal Preeti Sharad, who said it be used to upgrade library facilities.

Lauding the role of students, Sharad said students made traditional diyas, beautifully-decorated bells, beads, decorative items, Pooja thalis, painted earthenware, candles, idols of gods and goddesses. Other games during the fair were lucky dip, light the candle, hoopla, tambola, puzzles and brain teasers. A cultural show was also organised in which students presented 'Kathakali-Arabic' fusion dance. Another was a fishermen folk dance.

Tarni wins debate

Tarni Khurana of Spring Dal Senior Secondary School won the debate competition organised by Amritsar Branch of the NIRC of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India here.

The topic was ‘The generation of today does not require the wisdom of generation of yesterday’. Pranav Malhotra of Spring Dale and Mannat Sandhu of DAV Public school were adjudged first runners up and second runners up, respectively.

Neera Sharma, principal of DAV Public school gave away the prizes to winners. Anil Khanna, CA and chairman of Amritsar branch of NIRC, Gaurav Arora, Vipul Arora, Shiv K. Gupta, Davinder Singh, Jeewan Lal Khanna and other leading city CAs were also present on the occasion.

Springdale bags trophy

The team of Springdale Senior School won the overall trophy during a shooting championship held at Gen Gurbax Singh Inter-Public School. The school won 18 medals,including 12 golds, three silver and three bronze. Rubab Kaur Sekhon, a student of class X ,won two gold medals and was adjudged the best all round shooter of the championship. Rubani Sidhu of class VII won two gold and one silver and was declared the best shooter among the girls. Aafreen, while Anurag Singh Sekhon of class XII won one gold and one silver, Arpan Ssingh Jasan of class eighth won one gold and one bronze. Similarly, Sidhant Aggarwal of class VII won one gold , Asees Chawla class VII won gold medal and Amitojaveer of class XII won one gold and a bronze and Hirdaypal Singh of class VII won one gold medal.

Youth festival winner

The DAV Senior Secondary School here won the overall championship trophy at the All India Mahatma Hans Ran Aryan youth festival organised by the DAV college committee held at Faridabad in Haryana. Principal SL Luthra said more than 100 schools from 18 states of the country participated in the festival in which the school team secured first position in qawwali , patriotic songs, bhangra,and devotional songs. The students also bagged second position in ghazal and singing, while claimed third spot in on-the-spot painting competition.



Campus Pulse
Non-teaching employees’ body poll tomorrow
Tribune News service

Amritsar, October 21
The annual elections to the Non-Teaching Employees Association of Guru Nanak Dev University would be held on October 23.

Returning officer Derick Engels said two groups, University Employees Democratic Front and Democratic Employees Front, would be contesting the poll.

From the University Employees Democratic Front Suwindejit Singh, Balbir Singh, Harbans Singh, Surjit Singh Cholia, Hardeep Singh Nagra, Gurmeet Singh and Gaganjit Singh are contesting for the posts of president, senior vice-president, vice-president, secretary, joint secretary, press secretary and treasurer, respectiverly.

Derick said candidates from the Democratic Employees Front, Ramesh Chander Sharma, Jagir Singh, Harjinder Singh, Achhar Singh, Ashwani Kumar, Sham Mohan and Kashmir Singh are contesting for the posts of president, senior vice-president, vice-president, secretary, joint secretary, press secretary and treasurer, respectively. Besides, 10 candidates from each group are contesting as executive members.



Dinanagar college is youth fest champion

Amritsar, October 21
The three-day zonal youth festival (b-zone) of Guru Nanak Dev University concluded here on Tuesday.

SD Arya Mahila Mahavidyalaya, Dinanagar, won the “A” division championship in the festival (b-zone), while the “B” division trophy went to SSM College, Dinanagar. In the “A” division, the RR Bawa DAV College for Girls, Batala, remained runners-up and the RRMK Arya Mahila Mahavidyalaya, Pathankot, got the third place. In the “B” division, Sikh National Collge, Qadian, became the runners-up and the SGAD College, Khadoor Sahib, stood third. Noted Punjabi poet and IPS officer Manmohan Singh presided over the function and gave away prizes to winners. — TNS



BSNL relaunches student power plan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 21
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has relaunched the student power plan  here under which  the students could  make calls at 40 paise per minute within the BSNL network besides sending unlimited free messages within Punjab.

Stating this in a press note here, the general manager, Telecom, Amritsar, said they have also introduced STD voucher of Rs 110 to reduce the inter-circle STD call rates from their own network from Rs 2 to Rs 1.20 and other networks from Rs 2.40 to  Rs 1.50.

He said they have also introduced promotional scheme from October 5 for free GPRS on the student power plan and new prepaid general customers and all schemes were for limited period only.

He said BSNL has also introduced prepaid service on SDMA WLL scheme and under this the customers would be issued telephone sets costing Rs 1450 to Rs 2100 besides free talk time of Rs 900. He said intra-circle calls would be charged at  60 paise.

He said in order to boost the growth of broadband connections they were offering 20 per cent discounts on rent for a period of six months from the date of activation to all new broadband customers.



Biz Buzz
Splash on Lawrence Rd

AMRITSAR: Hanung Toys and Textiles Ltd launched its sixth exclusive store of its home furnishings brand “Splash” on Lawrence Road here. The store provides an expanded range of Splash home furnishings like bed sheets, bed covers, comforters, curtains, towels, bath mats and an export range of furnishings. The company is already running stores in New Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Jammu, Dehradun, Chandigarh and Mohali. Hanung Retail Ltd head Varun Sachar hoped that the company would reach the target of having 20 stores by the end of this financial year. — TNS

Lucky winner

AMRITSAR: Anil of the holy city, who has won an LCD TV set, was among the three lucky winners declared by a cellular service here on Tuesday. Spice Telecom Punjab COO Subodh Srivastava said in a press release that the other winners, Sanjay Sachdeva and Devider Singh, had won a gold coin each. — TNS

Diamond mela

Amritsar: KIAH, a Sheetal group brand company, organised its “diamond mela” for the first time in Amritsar. The three-day event showcased 3,500 exclusive jewellery designs in rings, earrings, pendants, bangles, necklaces and lariats. Chief operating officer Gautam Gulati said the people of Punjab had a refined taste in jewellery which was evident from the responses to the exhibition in other parts of the state earlier this year. With the wedding and festival season on, the company had brought a wide range of loose diamonds. He said KIAH was coming in a big way to Punjab with a special focus on Amritsar. The company is looking forward to the opening of malls in Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Chandigarh, he added. — TNS

Festival offer

Amritsar: In order to boost the growth of broadband connections, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), announced a festive offer starting from October 1 to 31 for all new broadband customers with 20 per cent discount on rent for a period of six months from activation date. This was informed by general manager telecom in a press release issued here. —TNS



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